Kent pair hit the end of the road against Hinds and Fallows
By ALAN THATCHER at The Mote
Teenage qualifier George Parker overcame No.3 seed Jaymie Haycocks to become part of an all-English quartet in the semi-finals of the Select Gaming Kent Open at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, Kent.
Parker produced a mature display of fast, attacking, disciplined squash to defeat a below-par Haycocks 11-6, 11-6, 17-15.
After dominating the opening two games he withstood a fierce fightback by Haycocks in the third, finally clinching victory in an extended tiebreak.
It was the second major upset of the tournament after local wild card Josh Masters had beaten the No.1 seed, Jens Schoor of Germany, the previous evening.
Despite a blazing start and a fourth game fightback, Masters was unable to repeat the same level of consistency and accuracy against No.6 seed Joel Hinds.
Masters, the 20-year-old from nearby Walderslade, has improved enormously after his first year in Bristol, attending the University of the West of England and training at the Vivo Academy with Mohamed Elshorbagy under the guidance of leading coach Hadrian Stiff.
Encouraged by a raucous home gallery, he opened up a big lead in the first game, moving from 5-0 to 10-4 and withstanding a determined spell of pressure from Hinds to win it 11-9.
Hinds patiently stuck to his disciplined game plan to open up a 7-4 lead in the second game but Masters drew close at 8-9 and 9-10 before the 27-year-old from Derby edged home 11-9.
Hinds looked in control as he led 5-1 at the start of the third game. Masters put in another solid spell to reach 5-6, but Hinds finished strongly to take it 11-5.
Masters loves attacking the front corners, always looking for the angles to hit nicks, and Hinds continued to play the straighter lines in an attempt to reduce his opponent’s attacking options.
With huge encouragement from the crowd, Masters led 5-2, and although Hinds drew level at 5-5, Masters then won four points in a row to lead 9-5. In a tense and exciting period of play, Hinds hit back to 8-9 before Masters won three points in a row to make it two games all.
After winning the first two points of the fifth game, Masters began to wilt and Hinds won seven points in a row as he dominated the fifth. Masters won just one more point as Hinds wrapped it up 11-3 after 62 minutes of hugely entertaining squash.
Masters’ exit was followed by that of his former coach, Ben Ford, who was in some discomfort from an injury sustained the previous night against James Earles. Ford was unable to withstand the pace and precision of his star pupil at his Bexley academy, as No.4 seed Richie Fallows eased to victory in just 21 minutes.
Number two seed Charles Sharpes made sure of four home representatives in the semi-finals after a hard-fought battle with Denmarks’ Kristian Frost.
Sharpes worked his way through some physical and often ill-tempered incidents to clinch the match with a comfortable 11-1 win in the fourth game.
He now faces a formidable battle with England rival Richie Fallows, while Parker will be aiming to grab another major scalp when he takes on Hinds.
Select Gaming Kent Open, PSA Challenger 10 Tournament, The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, Kent
(Q) George Parker beat (3) Jaymie Haycocks 11-6, 11-6, 17-15 (39 mins)
(6) Joel Hinds beat (WC) Josh Masters 9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-3 (62 mins)
(4) Richie Fallows beat (Q) Ben Ford 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (21 mins)
(2) Charles Sharpes (Eng) beat (5) Kristian Frost (Den) 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-1 (58 mins)
5pm: (6) Joel Hinds (Eng) v (Q) George Parker (Eng)
6pm: (2) Charles Sharpes (Eng) v (4) Richie Fallows (Eng)
Pictures by KIM ROBERTS